The National Energy Board's (NEB) announcement of its approval of Enbridge's Line 9B pipeline is generating outrage among environmental activists across Ontario and Quebec. The pipeline, already in place for nearly 40 years, has a history of leaks and the repurposing of it to carry dilbit (diluted bitumen) under high pressure is seen as an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen. Mark Mattson, an environmental lawyer and president of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, is particularly concerned. "There are hundreds of rivers that feed into Lake Ontario. [Line 9] will be carrying dilbit, and this pipeline wasn't made for that. It was made to carry other substances." He goes on to add, "Line 9 is just one of many, many emerging threats to the Great Lakes."
In the last year, Toronto residents have contested a plan to pump toxic tar sands oil through the city, while the Lac Megantic disaster makes us wonder what dangers lurk on our railway lines. Meanwhile, the city has been hit by two extreme climate events. We’re caught up in world climate change: What can we do? At this Bagel Brunch, John Riddell and Diane Meredith will share their views on what has and can be done nationally and provincially. Diane Meredith has been active in the mining justice and Aboriginal sovereignty movement for many years and has been focusing on the issue of Tar Sands development nationally and specifically Line 9 provincially. John Ridell is a member of East End Against Line 9 and an ecosocialist activist.
Update: The National Energy Board has approved the Line 9 project.
Update: The Harper government (Federal Ministry of Finance) is currently robocalling Canadians to participate in a phone town hall on the budget today, currently verified happening in London Ontario. Not coincidentally, this will happen at the same time as the NEB proposal is announced. Activists suspected the federal government would run some kind distraction from the announcement, and this appears to be it.